BA to close Gatwick First lounge at 3pm from Monday 13 April 2015

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways has announced that its First Class lounge at London Gatwick will close from 3pm each day from Monday 13 April 2015.

The lounge is one of two provided by BA at London Gatwick. The other being a Terraces lounge for Silver Executive Club cardholders and passengers travelling on flexible UK domestic tickets, and in Club Europe and Club World.

Patronage of the lounge has declined over a number of years. BA moved routes such as Dallas Fort Worth and Houston to London Heathrow many years ago. American Airlines withdrew from the airport after the 2008 Open Skies treaty removed restrictions on what routes BA and American could operate from London Heathrow.

Whilst the published rationale is that the last flight with a first class cabin departs from Gatwick shortly after 3pm (BA2233 to Bermuda) this moves seems driven by cost-cutting. Although it may not be the intention, coupled with other recent announcements such as removing seat selection on hand baggage only fares, this will be seen as part of a narrative of removing benefits from its frequent flyers.
Continue reading “BA to close Gatwick First lounge at 3pm from Monday 13 April 2015”

BA launches London Gatwick – Vienna from September 2015

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways is to launch a new route from London Gatwick to Vienna from 17 September 2015.

BA will fly from London Gatwick to Vienna daily, except Saturdays. The service will reduce to four weekly from the start of the winter timetable from late October 2015.

Flight BA2560 Depart London Gatwick 16:00 – Arrive Vienna 19:10
Flight BA2561 Depart Vienna 20:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 22:30
Continue reading “BA launches London Gatwick – Vienna from September 2015”

BA suspends Gatwick – Gran Canaria from 29 March 2015

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways was due to launch a twice weekly service from London Gatwick to Gran Canaria from 29 March 2015. However, for “commercial reasons” (we assume poor forward bookings), the airline is to suspend the route.

Passengers will be accommodated on either a new Iberia Express service from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Gran Canaria which launches on 30 March 2015 or BA’s Saturday service to Gran Canaria which also operates from Heathrow Terminal 5.

Alternatively, passengers have the option of flying to another nearby BA destination from London Gatwick (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote), or via Iberia’s hub in Madrid. Passengers are also entitled to a full refund.

Other direct flights from London Gatwick to Gran Canaria are available from easyJet, Norwegian and Thomas Cook.

Which BA routes operate from London Gatwick with First Class?

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick » Page 4

British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

A short while ago, we compiled a list of the British Airways routes from London Heathrow that operate with a first class cabin.

To complete the list, here’s a list of long-haul Gatwick routes that operate with and without a first class cabin.

It’s a relatively easy list to compile. BA’s routes from Gatwick are operated exclusively with either three or four class Boeing 777 aircraft.
Continue reading “Which BA routes operate from London Gatwick with First Class?”

BA relaunches Gatwick – Sharm El Sheikh from September 2015

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

BA will return to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt from mid September 2015.

The airline will initially fly to Sharm El Sheikh initially twice a week on Monday and Thursdays, then increasing to thrice weekly.

This is by no means the first time BA will fly to Sharm El Sheikh. BA’s franchise partner, GB Airways, used to fly there in BA colours until it was acquired by easyJet.

BA then operated a long-haul Boeing 777 a few years ago, but a combination of brutal timings and the Arab Spring led to the route being cancelled in 2011.

BA will fly to Sharm El Sheikh using an Airbus A320, offering EuroTraveller economy and Club Europe business class, so no in-flight entertainment or flat beds in business class.

The good news is that the timings are quite agreeable for in the inbound and outbound flights. This is a typical timetable. The exact timings may vary throughout the season.

Flight BA2560 Depart London Gatwick 09:00 – Arrive Sharm El Sheikh 16:20
Flight BA2561 Depart Sharm El Sheikh 17:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 20:55

Flights are now on sale on ba.com

BA launches London Gatwick – Seville, Funchal & Las Palmas

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

In a further sign of renewed confidence in its London Gatwick operation, British Airways has added three new routes to its 2015 Gatwick schedule.

These are Seville in Spain (five times weekly) Funchal in Madeira (three times weekly) and Las Palmas in Gran Canaria (twice weekly) which will operate from 29 March 2015.

This is in addition to earlier announcements of Fuerteventura, Friedrichshafen and Grenoble from December 2014.

Other routes launching for summer 2015 will include Cagliari in Sardinia, Heraklion in Crete, Rhodes in Greece and Bodrum and Dalaman in Turkey.

Flights are open for booking now in ba.com

BA cancels Gatwick – Colombo; Male suspended 28 March – 25 October 2015

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways has today announced it is to cancel its thrice weekly London Gatwick – Colombo service, which operated as an additional leg to its service to Male in the Maldives.

The last flight from London Gatwick will operate on 27 March 2015 and the last inbound flight will operate on 28 March 2015.

The Male service will also be suspended from the above dates until 25 October 2015, operating as a seasonal service only.

Continue reading “BA cancels Gatwick – Colombo; Male suspended 28 March – 25 October 2015”

BA launches London Gatwick – Fuerteventura from 13 December 2014

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways will return to the island of Fuerteventura from December of this year, with twice weekly flights from London Gatwick.

Flights operate on a summer seasonal basis to Fuerteventura airport on Wednesday and Saturday.

Flight BA2700 Depart London Gatwick 14:30 – Arrive Fuerteventura 18:50 (Wednesday)
Flight BA2700 Depart London Gatwick 11:40 – Arrive Fuerteventura 16:00 (Saturday)

Flight BA2701 Depart Fuerteventura 19:35 – Arrive London Gatwick 23:45 (Wednesday)
Flight BA2701 Depart Fuerteventura 16:45 – Arrive London Gatwick 20:55 (Saturday)

Two points to note from this:

First, it’s a sign of return of growth by BA to Gatwick after a very long period of contraction in its short-haul network.

Second, it’s also an indication that future short-haul route launches at Gatwick are likely to be longer-range flights for holidaymakers rather than short-haul routes that are well covered by easyJet.

Flights are now on sale on ba.com.

BA increases long-haul frequencies at Gatwick

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick » Page 4

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

Some good news for British Airways passengers at London Gatwick. The airline has announced that, from the start of the Summer 2014 season on 30 March 2014, it will increase the frequency of flights on the following routes:

Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) increases from 2 to 3 flights a week
Antigua increases from 5 to 6 flights a week
Kingston increases from 3 to 4 flights a week
St Lucia increases from 6 to 7 flights a week
Orlando increases from 10 to 13 flights a week

The increase in frequency has been enabled by the addition of one more Boeing 777 aircraft, taking the number of Boeing 777s stationed at London Gatwick to 10. This is itself something of an achievement for BA at London Gatwick bearing in mind the number of slots that now need occupying at Heathrow.

It is a little disappointing that BA has not chosen to use the extra capacity to launch a new route, particularly to the East where BA has previously expressed the potential for growth in long-haul leisure routes from London Gatwick. However, there is a logic in adding frequencies to routes not served by daily flights to increase the number of outbound/inbound options for passengers.

Of note is the increase in flights to Orlando, which increase once again to 13 weekly and has historically been something of a stronghold for Virgin Atlantic. It is also interesting to note there has been no increase in flights from London Gatwick to Las Vegas which remain at thrice weekly, and complemented by daily flights from London Heathrow.

Hopefully the trend of steady growth in BA’s long-haul leisure operation at Gatwick is one that will continue.

BA suspends London Gatwick – Tunis from 27 October 2013

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick » Page 4

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its thrice weekly London Gatwick – Tunis route from 27 October 2013.

No reason has been given for the cancellation, but unsatisfactory commercial performance is a likely reason and the route suspension is an indication of the ongoing commercial pressures BA faces in the short-haul market at Gatwick.

At this stage, passengers booked on services after 27 October 2013 only have the option of a refund or moving their booking to an earlier date, as there are no direct or indirect alternatives on BA.